How to advance your project management career?

Avatar Marie-anne Herremans

By Marie-anne Herremans

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Skilled project managers are an endangered species. Yet, they are of the utmost importance in coordinating complex client projects. No wonder companies and agencies are only interested in the crème de la crème.

How do you stand out from the project crowd?

We’ve gathered five essential tips to really make a difference in a highly competitive agency environment. If you manage them well, you’ll be a pm-master in no time.

Are you already a PM-Master?

Go ahead, hit that button and apply!

Excelling in project management requires the right combination of hard and soft skills. Numerous historical examples of legendary PMs confirm this. 

Have you ever heard of Taiichi Ohno? He was the inventor of the Toyota Way, a fine example of how a well-designed project management method raises efficiency and productivity. Or Andy Grignon, the leading Software Engineer at Apple, who turned the iPhone into the icon it is today. His people management skills were by far the most crucial trigger for his team's success.

Plan for success 

Planning is a basic pm-skill. When you embark on new business adventures, it’s important to think before you act. 

Planning requires solid time management, precise cost tracking, and the ability to prioritize. Project managers have to be good at reading people. If you thoroughly understand the abilities and strengths of your team members, allocating the right tasks and resources to the right people is a no-brainer. 

Meet Marie-Anne

At Digiti, your mentor Marie-Anne will introduce you to all digitists as soon as possible so you can take a headstart right away

Choose wisely 

Project management methodologies are essential frameworks to secure efficiency. The most commonly used methodologies are: 

  • Agile

  • Scrum

  • Lean

  • Prince2

  • Waterfall

Which one to choose depends on the industry you’re in. Team size, budget, the ability to take risks, and flexibility are key consideration points you should take into account. 

For example, Waterfall is a traditional linear approach with no room for risks and flexibility. Each stage of the project must be completed before the next begins. If your end goal is well-defined and your project is consistent and predictable, Waterfall may just be the right fit for you.

Agile on the contrary, allows you to change tactics when revision is needed quickly. As such, agile project management usually involves short phases of work with frequent testing, reassessment, and adaptation. It’s the perfect model if you’re managing projects in high-paced environments or in IT. 

Project managers at Digiti prefer agile. They define short sprints to efficiently handle team efforts. They act and adapt when needed. They excel in decisiveness and flexibility. 

Agile has many advantages: it promotes teamwork, encourages people to share their knowledge, and provides greater project autonomy.
Marie-anne, Operations Manager

Communication is key

Poor communication skills result in confusion, inefficiency, and missed deadlines. You can’t be an effective project manager if you’re not able to clearly articulate team to-dos and deadlines. Furthermore, flawless client communication should be your top priority.

If you’re an effective project communicator, you’re probably good at stakeholder management too. This essential soft skill is often overlooked when it comes to project management. You need to be a people person. You’re able to set out sustainable and close relationships in order to balance everyone’s needs and wishes. You’re an effective listener, inspire others and manage conflicts as no one can.

As a project manager at Digiti, you’re the first point of contact with our clients. This sets us apart from other agencies.

Houston, we (do not) have a problem

Every project will face problems somewhere along the way. It’s a project manager’s duty to tackle or proactively eliminate them before they can cause any harm. It’s your responsibility to find effective solutions and make them go up in smoke in no time.

Problem-solving is also about asking the right questions. How can we improve workflows? What will be the consequences of an action? Did I set realistic goals for myself and the team? What if we go over budget? This critical attitude will help you better analyze the situation and make the right decisions under time pressure.

Do you have steel nerves?

Then you’re a perfect fit for the Digiti team.

Technical curiosity

Project managers who speak their team’s or client’s language will be able to communicate more effectively.

For instance, if you're leading a challenging project in IT, you’ll benefit from understanding coding language. It will give you a better understanding of a project’s inherent risks and potential roadblocks. It will help you solve technical issues more proficiently. That’s something your team and client will appreciate for sure.

Having good knowledge of project management software is a must-have technical skill as well. It will positively impact your work. Different kinds of software are frequently used to plan, organize, and communicate while simultaneously managing resources, budgets, and schedules. It will help you to successfully lead a project to completion in today’s modern world.

And finally … play hard, work harder

In the end, it doesn’t matter how you master your project management skills. The most important thing is to continuously improve them. By taking action and learning new techniques, you’ll soon become one of the crème de la crème. With your top-notch skills, companies will be dying to meet (and hire) you.

But hey, don’t forget to notify Digiti.

We’re dying to meet great project managers too.